12 Mar 2014

Vettel ready to attack, despite car issues

5:48 am on 12 March 2014

Four-time Formula One champion Sebastian Vettel says he plans to go on the attack in Sunday's season-opening Australian Grand Prix, despite problems with his Red Bull car.

The German concedes Red Bull will start the season at a bit of a disadvantage, meaning he'll have to fight for every position.

Vettel endured a frustrating four days of testing in Bahrain just over a week ago due to electrical issues and problems with the car's new Renault engine.

Vettel says the problems were caused partly by the car's new drivetrain, the components which supply power to the wheels.

The 26-year-old predicts the introduction of new turbo engines will have a major impact on all teams, making the cars more unreliable and prone to breaking down, when the season starts in Melbourne.

He estimates only half of the cars will finish.

Vettel is bidding for a fifth consecutive world title, but fumed "just getting to the finish would be a success" in the wake of the Bahrain testing.

Williams' Felipe Massa posted the fastest time in Bahrain, clocking 1min 33.258secs, while Vettel came in 18th-fastest overall.